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Newsletter: Big plans for Armagh but what side of the fence are you on?

Drumadd supermarket plans Armagh

This morning we’re talking about the huge plans in the works at Drumadd. It’s a huge development which will change the landscape of Armagh city, both literally and figuratively. It’s also a story that will be – and has been – met with acclaim by many and trepidation by others.

The reaction, when we revealed the plans on Monday night, was largely positive. The location; the proximity to the nearby roundabout, which connects College Hill and the Portadown Road, raised a few eyebrows. One person questioned the future of independent retailers in the town centre – an issue we have been covering plenty of recently.

However, one reader – Paul Loughlin – described it as “excellent” news.

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of competition, and that’s great for customers. Investment, industry and jobs are vital in any city and Armagh should welcome the opportunity to have a greater retail capacity and choice for shopping. Of course there will be negative views but in general the question is can Armagh really afford to turn chances like this down? – Paul Loughlin

The plans also come hot on the heels of proposals to build a new EuroSpar and petrol filling station, as part of a multi-million pound mixed-use development at Orangefield. This too, the applicant says, would represent a “significant investment” that will “create jobs and provide local services for the local community”.

The two proposed developments are 0.7 miles from each other.

Is this development at Drumadd preemptive of the proposed – and preferred – East Link Road which would link in seamlessly. The route is to come in off the Markethill Road, right across the Hamiltonsbawn Road, next to the MOT centre, and through onto the Portadown Road. Surely, it’s in the thinking, but with the Department for Infrastructure looking to us – the general public, to come up with ideas to make money, the £20m or so needed for this route could be some time off yet…

Meanwhile, a public consultation event will be held in late January and people will be able to have their say, however, we want your tuppence worth now…

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